A corporate lawyer represents companies and helps them comply with legal requirements. They also help them form, manage, and resolve business problems. They may be employed by a law firm or work in-house as part of a companyâ€™s private legal team.
How Does a Corporate Lawyer Get Started?
Corporate lawyers usually need a bachelorâ€™s degree and a Juris Doctorate (JD). They may pursue further education to differentiate themselves in the field, such as a masterâ€™s degree or specialized training programs. They typically practice in the United States, though they can also work abroad.
They need to pass the bar examination in the state in which they plan to practice, and they must meet continuing education requirements. Many states require them to attend seminars and conferences, which are usually in person or online.
How Are Corporate Law and Business Law Regulated?
Corporate law covers a wide range of issues, including the formation of new companies, taxation, distribution of corporate assets, mergers and acquisitions, and securities laws. It involves federal and state laws, as well as policies of regulatory agencies.
For example, corporations must register with the government, which requires them to maintain proper records and file reports. If they donâ€™t, they can face fines and other penalties.
When a company wants to sell its stock, it must follow regulations set by the Securities and Exchange Commission. These regulations prevent insider trading, market manipulation and fraud. A corporate lawyer must ensure that the company follows these regulations, often by preparing reports about stock offerings, yearly and quarterly disclosures, and special disclosures whenever something changes.
Whether a client needs to buy or sell a stock, a lawyer must review the transaction and create documents that protect both partiesâ€™ interests. This involves researching the other partyâ€™s history and current operations, drafting contracts and assisting with negotiations.
The most common corporate legal tasks involve preparing contracts, such as those for employees and vendors. These agreements are legally binding and can protect a businessâ€™s interests, as well as those of its clients. Recommended this site personal injury lawsuit lawyer .
Other legal work is housekeeping, which includes reviewing and evaluating contracts that a company signs with other entities. These include procurement contracts, for example, when a corporation purchases computers or other IT equipment from suppliers.
A corporate lawyer must also be familiar with the rules that apply to public companies, which are required to keep financial records and file reports. These laws can be complicated, so itâ€™s essential for a lawyer to be familiar with these regulations and how they affect their clientâ€™s business.
When Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $22 billion, a corporate lawyer was critical in helping to ensure that everyone ended up with their fair share of the profits. They needed to research both companies, analyze the legalities of the purchase and assist with the negotiation process to avoid any disputes later.
The salaries of corporate lawyers vary based on the type of industry they work in, their experience and their location. For instance, top-performing lawyers in professional services and energy companies typically earn higher salaries than those in healthcare and hospitality sectors. However, the average salary for a corporate lawyer in NYC is around $200,000.